Donald Trump has made much of Joe Biden’s trip to China, a trip during which his son Hunter accompanied him, saying that the younger Biden was offered and made money there and that the older Biden is beholden to China because of it. While there is no evidence that Hunter Biden made money in China and gave some of it to his father, there is lots of evidence that Trump has made money in China while in office, 5.4 million pieces of evidence, in fact.
🚨 FORBES —
"Forbes Estimates China Paid Trump At Least $5.4 Million Since He Took Office, Via Mysterious Trump Tower Lease" https://t.co/5LTApMSllF
— Jesse Ferguson (@JesseFFerguson) October 24, 2020
Forbes reported late Friday night that, according to documents related to Trump Tower, that the state-owned Chinese bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, owns space inside Trump Tower with a lease for $1.9 million in rent each year. Although they signed the lease in 2008, the president continues to make money from that lease while in office.
‘President Donald Trump, who declared “I don’t make money from China” in Thursday night’s presidential debate, has in fact collected millions of dollars from government-owned entities in China since he took office. Forbes estimates that at least $5.4 million has flowed into the president’s business from a lease agreement involving a state-owned bank in Trump Tower.’
.@Maddow on NYT reporting on Trump-China dealings: "Pres. Trump took nearly $25 million cash from sources linked to China and the Chinese government including a previously secret Chinese bank account just in the first year he was in office as president."https://t.co/qPBsCkpNj1
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 23, 2020
While Trump has given up personal control of his hotels and golf resorts, he maintains ownership of Trump Tower and collects rent. Ethics officials have been concerned that Trump’s properties would create violations of the emoluments clause because it meant taking money from foreign countries.
‘Trump moved from the skyscraper to the White House in 2017, but he held onto ownership of the retail and office space in the building, through his 100% interest in an entity called Trump Tower Commercial LLC. That put him in an unusual position, given that government-owned entities in China hold at least 70% of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. Suddenly, a routine real estate deal became a conduit for a foreign superpower to pay the president of the United States.’
“Trump seems confused about who pays the tariffs that he’s imposed on imported goods. Either that, or he just won’t admit the truth: Trump’s tariffs are taxes on U.S. purchasers, not foreign manufacturers.”
— Sol (@forwardarc) October 24, 2020
When Trump was elected, he and his children pledged to donate all money from foreign countries earned by their businesses to the U.S. Treasury to avoid violating that clause. However, records show that they haven’t done so entirely, keeping 1.2 million dollars in money earned from China.
‘It sure doesn’t seem like the Trump Organization handed over all their profits from the deal with the Chinese. The Trump Organization reportedly donated a total of $343,000 to the U.S. Treasury in 2017 and 2018, Trump’s first two years as president. Yet, a document connected to Trump Tower suggests that over those same two years, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China was set to pay about $3.9 million in rent. Operating profit margins inside the building are an estimated 42%, which would suggest that the deal yielded $1.6 million of earnings over those two years. Even if you only count roughly 70% of that money as coming from the Chinese government, it still adds up to $1.2 million—or more than three times what the Trump Organization reportedly gave to the Treasury.’
Let’s cut through the noise to Biden’s China policy. A @nytimes team examined his 40-year relationship w/ China. We found fascinating info, but no business interests or unethical acts. Trump even praised our 3100-word story. w/ @michaelcrowley @AnaSwanson. https://t.co/x509UBFwFM
— Edward Wong (@ewong) October 24, 2020